We took advantage of being a single-child family to try something new. As I mentioned in my Tattoo posting, trying something new with an autistic child requires a fair bit of preparation.
Ottawa is currently enjoying our annual Busker Festival and we thought Alex might be intrigued by a live performance. I have fond memories of the watching buskers all summer long when we lived in the Maritimes. It seemed like a good opportunity to try and share that experience with my son.
We did our preparation. We planned to go by bus, which Alex absolutely loves. A bus ride puts him in a great mood, which is important when introducing something out of his experience. We did a little schedule which showed watching the buskers then going to ride the escalators at the mall (another favourite activity). Something good to start and a reward to follow. You can't set it up any better than that.
Unfortunately, it didn't pan out. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the delay finding something to look at (the first two performers were packing up, the third spent almost five minutes warming up the crowd without doing much of anything and he was out of patience by the fourth). Or maybe he just wasn't that interested in watching a live acrobatic show. Or maybe he's still upset about his brother being at the cottage instead of him. Or it could be something else we missed. That's the challenge. It's almost impossible to tell what the problem is.
We tried to encourage him to be patient but it was fairly clear he wasn't going to cooperate. He began whining and trying to kick us, something he hasn't done for awhile. For that, he lost the opportunity to ride the escalators.
It's always discouraging when these opportunities don't work out but we'll keep on trying.